MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 28th January, 2021) US State Secretary Antony Blinken has held phone talks with Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin, the Department of State said in a statement.
"Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin, Jr," it said.
"Secretary Blinken and Secretary Locsin reaffirmed that a strong U.S.-Philippine Alliance is vital to a free and open Indo-Pacific region," the statement said.
It said Blinken had emphasized the importance of the Mutual Defense Treaty for the two nations' security.
"Secretary Blinken stressed the importance of the Mutual Defense Treaty for the security of both nations, and its clear application to armed attacks against the Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific, which includes the South China Sea," the State Department said.
"Secretary Blinken also underscored that the United States rejects China's maritime claims in the South China Sea to the extent they exceed the maritime zones that China is permitted to claim under international law as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention," it said, adding that Blinken pledged to stand with Southeast Asian countries against Chinese pressure.
According to the statement, the two secretaries committed to keep building a relationship based on shared strategic interests, history, democratic values, and strong ties between people.